PFL planning champions versus champions card with Bellator in 2024

2023 PFL 5: Atlanta at the OTE Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, June 16, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Today we learned that the PFL officially acquired Bellator MMA in a groundbreaking move that has shaken the landscape of the mixed martial arts world. The two promotions had been battling for the second spot behind the UFC, but now, they have joined together to create a massive promotion that ranks just behind the UFC.

In the press release today, Donn Davis announced that they are planning a massive fan event for 2024. In that event, Davis said that they are planning to create a champions versus champions card pairing the current Bellator champions against this year’s tournament champions. The PFL Championships go down this Friday night.

With that in mind, I thought we could look ahead at the potential matchups for this card and look at what else could be coming down the pipeline now that this deal is official.

PFL and Bellator Matchups

As of right now, here are the proposed fights that would take place in a champions versus champions card featuring PFL and Bellator:

  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier / Clay Collard – Usman Nurmagomedov
  • Renan Ferreira / Denis Goltsov – Ryan Bader
  • Larissa Pacheco / Marina Mokhnatkina – Cris Cyborg
  • Sadibou Sy / Magomed Magomedkerimov – Jason Jackson
  • Impa Kasanganay / Josh Silveira – Vadim Nemkov
  • Jesus Pinedo / Gabriel Braga – Patricio Pitbull

As of now, the PFL only has six divisions so there are a few Bellator champions that as of now wouldn’t be featured on the card. Most notably, current bantamweight champion Patchy Mix wouldn’t be featured on the card because there is not a bantamweight division in the PFL.

Middleweight champion Johnny Eblen and women’s flyweight champion Liz Carmouche are also two fighters that wouldn’t be able to compete on such a card. However, with Bellator adding to the PFL roster, I wouldn’t be shocked to see those divisions have seasonal tournaments next year featuring many of the fighters who currently sit in Bellator.

In looking at the championship matchups, OAM – Usman Nurmagomedov would be a lot of fun. However, I think the one that intrigues me the most is the potential matchup between Larissa Pacheco and Cris Cyborg. That to me is the biggest fight out of any considering how good both of those ladies are. More will come out of today’s announcement, but a lot of fun matchups will be heading our way.

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